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Landmark Cited Yelp Reviews in its Lawsuit Against Regal

Photograph via Flickr user Cliff.

Landmark Theatres filed suit on Tuesday against Regal, saying the movie-theater giant has coerced movie distributors into depriving Landmark of licenses to titles such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2and Spectre. Landmark claims that the lack of competition—the suit says Regal own 91 percent of the market for commercial films in Northwest DC—has left moviegoers unable to seek out a better cinema alternative, the likes of which it is trying to provide by showing mainstream features at its snazzy new Atlantic Plumbing location in Shaw.

However, the suit’s five references to “typical consumer experiences” at Regal Gallery Place come from a kind of odd source: Yelp reviews. Three of these quotes are pulled out of context from three-star reviews (the theatre holds an overall three out of five star rating on the site), and two of them even come from the same reviewer: “When seeing comedies, there tends to be a disproportionately huge number of annoyingly whooping, talking, and texting teens” and “Trying to see Gone Girl and Inside Out here, and multiple shows were sold out. Both times we had to get tickets 2 hours later” are both extracted from an August 2015 review by Yelp user Dan M., who also mentions that the “clean” theatre has “large, cushy seats” plus “solid” screens and sound systems.

regal yelp review

Read through the entire 27-page lawsuit below.

Landmark Regal Suit by Dean Essner